Jim Ross opened up about why he was fired by WWE on the latest edition of his Grilling JR podcast. As quoted by Sportskeeda, the company let him go because they thought he was too drunk to moderate a panel involving legends during the week of SummerSlam 2013. However, the legendary announcer disagreed that he was inebriated.
According to Ross, he wasn’t the only person who’d had a few drinks that day. While he said he was sober enough to do his job, company officials disagreed and seemed intent on making an example out of him.
“I had a couple of drinks but I wasn’t drunk.’ That was the story – that was a lie. That was cover your a**, s***. When I got to the shoot, I was the host, moderator, whatever, and I went to the ‘green room’. The liquor was flowing like water. I thought, ‘Oh, this is gonna be interesting.’ A lot of the guys that did drink had drank too much. Naitch [Ric Flair] and I, I guess, were considered two of those guys.”
At the time, it was believed that Ross’s Bell’s palsy may have made him seem drunker than he actually was. As documented by WrestleView, Vince McMahon also talked about the decision to release Ross, revealing that the announcer opted to leave in the end. McMahon also stated that they parted ways on good terms and there was no heat between them.
Ross went on to say that the company had to fire either him or Flair, and he understands why they chose to keep the latter around. “The Nature Boy” is regarded as one of the best wrestlers of all time, and his daughter, Charlotte Flair, is an important performer on WWE television.
He also claimed that the event was poorly organized, but he didn’t appear to harbor any bad feelings toward his former employer following the incident.
Ross returned to WWE in 2017, but he left in 2019 after opting not to extend his contract. The Hall of Famer joined All Elite Wrestling that same year, and he’s been the promotion’s lead play-by-play announcer ever since.
Ross has been open about some of his negative experiences from working under his old boss in the past. As The Inquisitr previously reported, he talked about being humiliated on national television when he needed to take time off to overcome health issues. These segments included him being brutally fired by the McMahon family on an episode of Monday Night Raw.